I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear
not; I will help thee”.
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”—Isaiah 43:1–21
God’s Word tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”2
That’s His promise. He is our refuge and strength, and through the trying days that now are and shall yet come, He is “a very present help in trouble.” If we love Him and are doing our best to keep His commandments, we can rest in His unfailing presence.
Just read the Bible and you’ll see story after story of how marvelously the Lord protects and keeps His children. Once in a while they got in trouble and they suffered some, but He always delivered them! He doesn’t say that we’re never going to have any trials or afflictions, but He promises He’ll deliver us out of them all.3
Sometimes God may allow things to happen to us to try our faith, to see how determined we are, how much patience we have, and to build our endurance. That’s why we’re to “count it all joy” when we face trials, knowing that the trial of our faith produces patience and endurance.4
Once, when I was concerned and worrying about the future, the Lord answered me with a question. He said, “Will I not care for My own?” What an encouragement from the Lord! “Will I not care for My own?” The Lord is able to keep us through anything and everything. He will care for us. In fact, He won’t let a hair of your head be touched without His permission. “He that touches you touches the apple of My eye.”5
The Lord is our deliverer in times of trouble, our strong fortress where we hide, our strong tower in which the righteous hide and are kept safe. The Lord promised, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,”6 and we know that’s the best protection possible from anything we face in life.
Don’t ever forget, God’s children are surrounded by the angels of God. We are hedged in, as the Devil himself said about Job. The Devil complained to God about Job, “How can I touch him? You’ve got him fenced in! You’ve got him so hedged in, I can’t reach him. I can’t even touch him.”7 God has also placed a hedge of angels around us. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.”8 Thank God for His great company of angels!
When it looked like the prophet Elisha was cornered and surrounded by an entire army of his enemies, his servant became very worried and upset, as it looked like a truly impossible situation. “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, ‘Alas, my master! How shall we do?’”9
But the prophet answered, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them! And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”10
So that’s something that we need to remember and constantly thank the Lord for—His marvelous, miraculous, supernatural protection! Thank God for His angels that encamp round about us.
Keep close to the Lord and constantly claiming the protection of the Lord, always asking the Lord to keep you, and bless and protect you, because lots of things can happen that are totally beyond your control, but not the Lord’s!
“Men ought always to pray and not to faint,”11 God’s Word says. And He says, “Pray without ceasing.”12 Jesus said, “Watch and pray.”13 He didn’t say that for no reason. He not only knew you would need it, but it’s one way the Lord has of trying to keep you close to Him, continually in His presence, and constantly dependent upon Him and His protection and provision.
Your best protection through the storms of life is to stay strong in the Lord and the Word and in prayer and the Spirit. Jesus Himself said, “A strong man armed keepeth his goods in peace.”14 What did Jesus mean by that? To be strong is to be watchful and to be wise—not just prepared physically, but strong in spirit, strong in prayer, armed in prayer.
Trusting in the Lord
When people get upset and worried about things, we often say, “Don’t worry about it!” Well, if anybody could say that to us, it’s the Lord. “Don’t worry about it! You’re My child, and I’m going to take care of you no matter what happens.”
Don’t worry about whatever you’re facing. Just trust the Lord, and He’ll take care of you. He never fails, no matter what the conditions. He says, “Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.”15
Once, when I was very burdened about something, I just cried out, “Lord, what should we do?” And instead of telling me what to do, He told me what not to do. I wasn’t asking the Lord for a scripture; I wanted to know what to do. But He simply told me, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”16
So whatever you’re facing and whatever you do, don’t be afraid. Be like King David, who exclaimed, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid.”17 Keep your faith in the Lord and trust the Lord and know that He is in control, and nothing’s going to happen but what the Lord allows. The Lord’s going to take care of us, whatever happens, and He’s going to do what He wants to do.
God is in control and nothing happens to His children without His permission, and all things that He allows will eventually work together for our good.
Lord, help us not to worry or fear, but only to fear You and love You. You said, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.”18 Help us to remain at peace in You, Lord. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”19 Help us not to worry about any of the waves and winds and billows that we face. Help us just to look to You, Lord, and keep our eyes on You, and trust You. We know You work everything out for the good somehow. All things, Lord, shall work together for good to us who love You. In some way it’s all going to work together for our good, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Lord is our refuge in times of trouble.
David Brandt Berg
2 Psalm 46:1–3.
3 Psalm 34:19.
4 See James 1:2–3.
5 Matthew 10:30; Zechariah 2:8.
6 Psalm 91:1.
7 Job 1:10.
8 Psalm 34:7.
9 2 Kings 6:15.
10 2 Kings 6:16–17.
11 Luke 18:1.
12 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
13 Matthew 26:41.
14 Luke 11:21.
15 Psalm 40:4.
16 Isaiah 41:10.
17 Psalm 56:11.
18 Proverbs 14:26.
19 Isaiah 26:3.
WHY THIS COMING BLOOD MOON IS IMPORTANT TO WATCH
Biltz: Signs 'are telling us of what is yet to come'
Published: September 15, 2015
Ahead of the long-awaited fourth and final “blood moon” over the past year, the pastor and author who discovered the phenomenon that is aligning with biblical holy days predicts the world is on the brink of sweeping change.
And that might not be a good thing for everyone.
Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Washington, and author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” spoke to George Noory on his popular late-night radio show “Coast to Coast.”
When Noory asked what Biltz specifically expects in the near future, the pastor said he sees the possibility of a major war involving Israel and an economic collapse.
Biltz explained he is not looking to prophesy or say exactly what’s going to happen but is simply examining previous blood moon events.
“Look at the patterns; it’s always meant war involving Israel,” he said.
Biltz previously explained that in the two previous instances in which there were four blood moons in a row on Jewish holy days, Israel became a nation, in 1948, and retook Jerusalem, in 1967.”
This time, he said, the final blood moon is lining up closely with the end of the seven-year Shemitah cycle.
“It’s a sign based on the Shemitah cycle, which is that every seven years the land was to rest and there was to be an economic reset. And the last two times [this cycle ended], there was economic collapse.
“I think we could very well could see the collapse of the dollar. You read about it in newspapers all over the world. People are talking about the Chinese, the Russians, everyone else wanting to get off of the U.S. dollar. And once they get rid of the dollar and all these countries that are holding the dollar start dumping it, the dollar collapses.”
Biltz told Noory’s listeners people must pay attention to the blood moons and other astronomical events.
“These are signs,” he explained. “I like to say that if you are driving down the highway and you see a sign that says bridge is out, you better hope it’s not out 10 feet away and is 10 miles away.
“I think these blood moons, these signs, are signs telling us of what is yet to come. I’m not saying anything is going to happen on the very day that you have the eclipses.”
But as Biltz points out, so much is happening in the world today, events could quickly spiral out of control, especially abroad. And many of the critically important events in the world don’t just center on the United States but on the Jewish state of Israel.
“You hear reports in the news about Chinese ships off the U.S. coast or Russian ships off the U.S. coast,” he told the “Coast to Coast” audience. “But I think one of the big things that could portend war is what the U.N. will be doing: raising the Palestinian flag at the U.N. If there’s a Palestinian state created this next week, because France is trying to bring the resolution for a Palestinian state, and the U.S. may not veto it this time, I think that would be a huge sign if that happens.”
Noory suggested President Obama might even try to use an atmosphere of crisis to keep himself in office. Biltz said Americans simply have to wait and see.
“If we have a complete society breakdown over the next year or if terrorist attacks take place and they have to postpone the elections, I could see how things like that could happen,” he said.
Both Noory and Biltz agreed the state of the world by itself suggests something significant is happening.
“It’s unheard of,” said Biltz. “It’s unheard of. You see the convergence of all these nations wanting to come together as far as war, you see the economy breaking down. We’re really in it now.
“So much has already happened. You have Ebola, you have ISIS, you have Boko Haram, I could go on and on with things that have happened that make us say, ‘What are you talking about?” I mean, look at the state of this world that we’re in right now, with the immigration crisis. There are so many things going on, I don’t know how anyone could think nothing has happened.”
When asked to identify one of the key events in the world today, Blitz had a surprising answer. Biltz believes the spreading awareness of the biblical calendar is a critically important development.
“There’s now an awareness of this calendar that God is on,” he said. “The creator of the universe has a calendar. I mean, the Mayans have a calendar, the Chinese, the Muslims, the Jews, everyone has a different calendar. The question is, which one is extraterrestrial so to speak? Which one came from the One who created all of this? That’s the one we need to be on.”
Biltz explained God is using blood moons to communicate a universal message to the human race.
“No one can manipulate an eclipse,” he observed. “And no one can control the biblical calendar.
“I think God uses the sun and the moon as signs because they speak in the human language. Every single tribe in the human tongue understands that. For thousands of years, for millennia, there have been omens in the sky. And so I believe it speaks in every language and because man cannot manipulate it, God uses it.”
Biltz also revealed another fascinating biblical mystery during his interview. As he pointed out, Israel was founded in 1948, year 5708 in the Jewish calendar. The 5,708th verse in the Bible is Deuteronomy 30:5, which reads, “And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.”
Noory joked, “A coincidence, right?”
Biltz said this year is the year 5776 in the biblical calendar. And the 5,776th verse, Deuteronomy 32:23, ominously states, “I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.”
Noory asked how prophecy really works and how a person writing ancient Scriptures could predict the events of the future.
Biltz responded, “I think the only way that could work is if someone beyond that person is in control.”
The final blood moon, which also is a “super moon,” is to appear on the night of Sept. 27-28, and some media outlets have accused Biltz of predicting the outright end of the world. Biltz dismisses the claims.
“At no time have I ever claimed that these eclipses meant the end of Earth as we know it,” he told WND.
One news outlet charged that Biltz has taught the final blood moon means the “end of Earth.”
Biltz scoffed: “These people are regurgitating the nonsense others say rather than checking with the source. They have about as much integrity as Hillary Clinton’s email server!”
He said, however, he does think a “revelation” is approaching.
IT'S APOCALYPSE NOW IN ISRAEL
Nation pummeled by weather oddities on Jewish New Year
Published: September 17, 2015
An Israeli National Parks worker says a number of strange and frightening weather events, including one that came just as the nation was celebrating the Jewish New Year, have caused alarm.
Extreme heat, sandstorms and floods all have been reported.
“It felt like the apocalypse, the rain has been torrential, there were about 10 lighting strikes in seconds, and even with your windshield wipers on high, it was impossible to see anything.”
That report in the Times of Israel from Mark Katz described just one of the recent developments: flash flooding and hail that hit earlier this week just as the nation was celebrating the new year.
Breaking News Israel cited Job 38:22-23 in its report on the weather: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?”
The report said several “extreme” weather conditions have appeared since the beginning of September. The weekend events arrived just as the Shemitah year was drawing to a conclusion.
A report over the weekend said the “worst dust storm in Israeli history” had hit.
“The Environmental Protection Ministry reported that in several parts of the country, air pollution levels were at their worst in the country’s 67-year history. Air pollution in Jerusalem was 173 times higher than average, 51 times higher in the Negev, and 32 times higher in the Galilee.”
More than 600 people were treated for conditions “related to the weather,” the report said of the storm, which also affected Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Cyprus.
The weather “confused scientists and meteorologist[s], who are caught by surprise by the unprecedented phenomenon.”
In July in Iran, the city of Bandar Mahshahr recorded a heat index of 164 degrees.
The news agency noted: “Where do we find this extreme weather in biblical prophecy? In the tiny, three chapter long book of Malachi, we find a clear reference ‘to a day that will burn like a furnace,’ (Malachi 3:19).
“In a recent blog post, Rabbi Lazer Brody, popular Israeli author and lecturer, reminded his readers of the prediction of Jewish sages, that, as redemption gets closer, ‘God will remove the sun from its covering. The righteous shall heal in its heat but the wicked shall be doomed in it,’” the report said.
From bugs to earthquakes to fires to winds to rain to smoke to heat, there are reports of extremes around the globe, too.
Ann Coulter Accuses Republican Candidates of Pandering to 'F---ing Jews'
Controversial pundit tweets 'how many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?' after several candidates in Republican debate stress improved U.S. ties with Israel.
Haaretz Sep 17, 2015 6:49 AM
Ann Coulter's tweets, September 16, 2015.Twitter screenshot
First they’ll come for the Mexicans - then they’ll come for the Jews?
Ann Coulter's dream of a Jew-free America
The Iran deal and unfair accusations of dual loyalty
Controversial conservative pundit Ann Coulter posted a series of arguably anti-Semitic tweets at the tail end of Wednesday night's Republican debate, accusing the candidates of pandering to Jewish voters, including one posing the hypothetical question of: "How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?"
Coulter, who has 660,000 Twitter followers, was reacting to the frequent mentions of Israel made by participants in the second televised Republican debate held Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.
She first tweeted criticism of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's support for Israel when answering the question "What will AMERICA [emphasis her's] look like after you are president?", asking "How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” She also wrote: "Good Grief, Huckabee is running for prime minister of Israel."
Coulter, who has expressed support for the candidacy of Donald Trump, then proceeded to posit that the candidates may just be trying to "suck up to the Evangelicals."
Coulter concluded her Twitter-storm by offering "How to get applause from GOP donors: 1) Pledge to start a war 2) Talk about job creators 3) Denounce abortion 4) Cite Reagan 5) Cite Israel."
Coulter has previously come under fire for alleged anti-Semitism. In a 2007 interview on CNBC's "The Big Idea," Coulter told Jewish host Donny Deutsch that she wants her dream America to be completely Christian, and that she wanted "Jews to be perfected, as they say," referring to Jews being converted to Christianity.
To answer Coulter's question, up to 7 million Jews live in the United States.
The 'Obamification' of Pope Francis
By John Blake, CNN
Updated 7:37 AM ET, Sun September 13, 2015 | Video Source: CNN
(CNN)Some pontiffs have been beatified or canonized, but Pope Francis is receiving a far more dubious honor.
He's being "Obamified."
The charismatic Pope, who arrives in the United States on September 22, has gained fans in and out of the Catholic Church for denouncing unfettered capitalism, warning about climate change and urging mercy toward divorced couples and women who have had abortions.
He's also sparked a strange trend. The same political slurs and conspiracy theories that critics have used against President Barack Obama are now being deployed against Pope Francis. One critic even says the two leaders have morphed into one sinister figure he calls "Popama."
The Obamification of Pope Francis includes charges from conservative critics that he's either a socialist, the Antichrist, an illegitimately elected leader who wants to create a "New World Order" -- or all of the above. Their anxiety was captured by the headline of one online column: "Pope Francis is the Catholic Church's Obama -- God help us."
Such apocalyptic warnings about Francis reflect normal anxiety over a new leader, says Greg Erlandson, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic organization that distributes church textbooks and religious materials.
"There's been some crazy stuff going around," Erlandson says. "You're always going to get a fringe element, on both the left and right. There's some guy in Canada claiming to be the Pope."
Yet conservative concerns over Pope Francis appear to be growing. A Gallup poll this summer showed that Pope Francis' support among American conservatives fell from 72% last year to 45% in July.
"There is a sense that he is or could be introducing significant changes in the church," Erlandson said, "and people find that very threatening."
Some of that anxiety goes beyond traditional debate over church doctrine. Here are three ways the Pope is being Obamified:
No. 1: He's a stealth socialist
Religion and money -- it's hard to find a more combustible combination. Pope Francis' comments on faith and finance have ignited a theological firestorm.
He said the poor have "sacred rights" of labor, lodging and land. He called the "unfettered pursuit of money" the "dung of the devil" and accused world leaders of "cowardice" for refusing to defend the Earth from exploitation.
During a speech to grassroots organizers in Bolivia in July, he called on the poor to rise up against "new colonialism," including corporations, loan agencies, free trade treaties and austerity measures.
Pope Francis' economic message is no different than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, above, Catholic commentators say, but some critics call Francis a Marxist.
The Pope's critique of capitalism has caused some -- including conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh -- to suggest Francis is a Marxist, a label he denied in a 2013 interview with an Italian newspaper. "The Marxist ideology is wrong," Francis said. "But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended."
Yet some conservative critics don't believe the Pope. Like Obama, they accuse him of being a secret socialist.
Conservative radio show host Michael Savage said the Pope is a "stealth Marxist in religious garb." Fox News business show host Stuart Varney warned in June that the Pope may align with Obama to gang up on the rich.
"Will Francis and Barack reshape the world by taxing the rich, taxing fossil fuels and redistributing the wealth?" Varney asked. "That's exactly what they are trying to do."
The Pope should be trusted when talking about matters of faith, some critics say, but he's outside of his depth when talking about economics.
Denise C. McAllister, a senior contributor to the Federalist, a conservative online magazine that covers politics, religion and culture, said the Pope's "social justice schemes" are immoral and similar to Obama's "socialist ideology."
McAllister wrote that Catholics have a moral responsibility to care for the poor, "but the greatest vehicle for alleviating poverty and deprivation is the very institution of free market capitalism that [the Pope] now denounces."
"He says people have a right to land, lodging and labor," McAllister told CNN. "When you're talking about giving to one, you're talking about taking from another. It's wrong and immoral for a powerful government to take property from you and give it to another group."
Yet Patrick J. Deneen, a Notre Dame professor, says Francis' statements on capitalism are no different from those of his predecessors. The Catholic Church has long been critical of unfettered capitalism. He says Pope Benedict XVI once wrote about the importance of "distributive justice and social justice for the market economy."
"Even though the church's teachings have not changed one jot under Francis, he has placed more emphasis on economic matters," says Deneen.
No 2: He's the Antichrist
In July, Jennifer LeClaire asked readers of Charisma magazine to Google the phrase "Is Pope Francis Antichrist." The query produced 425,000 hits, she noted. (That number is now 440,000.)
Pope Francis hasn't yet caught up with Obama in the Antichrist category. A Google search for "Is Obama the Antichrist" yields more than 800,000 results. But LeClaire's column reported on a growing belief among some Catholics that the Pope is a diabolical figure in papal clothing.
"Could Francis be the final Pope before Christ's return?" LeClaire asked. "Could he be the Antichrist? Is he the False Prophet? The chatter continues. ... "
Pope Francis is not a legitimately elected holy vicar of Jesus Christ as many believe, but he is the very igniter of a new world.
Paul Joseph C., editor of The Wild Voice
A recent Washington Post article noted there has "sprung up a cottage industry of books, DVDs and websites promoting Francis' dissenters."
Some of the dissent leads to conspiracy theories that would be familiar to anyone who has followed conservative reaction to Obama's presidency.
After his election in 2008, rumors circulated that Obama's victory was not legitimate because he was not actually born in the United States and there was massive voter fraud.
Similar conspiracy theories about Pope Francis' election "won't die," according to David Gibson, a reporter for the Religion News Service. The theories revolve around the belief that Francis doesn't have a legitimate claim to the papacy.
"Among them," Gibson wrote, "Benedict used incorrect Latin in his formal resignation letter, so it is invalid; alternately, they say, the cardinals in the March 2013 conclave that elected Francis violated certain procedures, so his election is null and void."
One critic who goes by the name Paul Joseph C. edits The Wild Voice, a website devoted to Catholic current events and subjects such as "the mark of the beast" and the "Illuminati." He says Obama and Francis are both cunning figures -- but that the Pope is even more dangerous.
"We are in the presence of a very powerful political figure, the likes of which we have never witnessed before," he says. "Pope Francis is not a legitimately elected holy vicar of Jesus Christ as many believe, but he is the very igniter of a new world."
Pope Francis' comments on global warming have irked some conservative critics.
He writes that Francis and Obama are "perfect dictators" who are using their anti-Christian agenda to ruin America and the church. He sees such disturbing similarities between the Pope and the President that he calls Francis "Popama."
The conspiracy theories have strayed into the mainstream media. After the Pope recently spoke about the dangers of climate change, Fox News commentator Lou Dobbs warned that Francis was describing "a new world order" and "a new global organization."
Where does this talk come from?
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, a religious commentator who has written about Pope Francis for the New Republic, says critics use such language because the Pope and Obama have in one way uttered blasphemy -- they question the sanctity and the "moral neutrality of markets."
"What all these things have in common is that they're essentially the worst possible thing the right-wing Id can come up with," she says. "You don't have to actually do anything indicative of being a socialist, communist or the Antichrist to earn these titles."
No. 3: He's on an 'Apology Tour'
After Obama was elected, critics said he apologized too much for the sins of America's past. Conservatives labeled one of the President's earliest international travel stints as "Barack Obama's Apology Tour."
Some are now making the same accusation against Pope Francis.
During his speech in Bolivia, Francis apologized for the Catholic Church's treatment of Native Americans.
"I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offense of the church herself," Francis said, "but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America."
And during a visit to an Italian church last month, the Pope apologized for past persecution of Pentecostals under Italy's early 20th century fascist government.
Meetings at the Vatican between the Pope and Israeli and Palestinian leaders have led some critics to accuse Francis of having an Islamic agenda.
The apologies irritated one critic so much that Adam Shaw, an editor for FoxNews.com, wrote the opinion piece entitled, "Pope Francis is the Catholic Church's Obama -- God Help Us."
"Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone's sensibilities," Shaw wrote.
Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, said he and other Catholics think Pope Francis expends too much energy apologizing for and chiding the faithful.
In a column last month entitled, "The hyperbolic and exhausting papacy of Francis," Olson wrote that the Pope obsesses over certain points such as the sin of gossip to a degree "that is frankly grating."
Olson, who describes himself as an orthodox Catholic, says the Pope seems to ignore the struggles of ordinary middle class people who work, raise families, pay the taxes and "keep society afloat while chaos and madness swirls around."
"At times it appears that the Pope will praise non-Catholics, including atheists, but then ignore how hard ordinary Catholics are striving to live the faith," Olson says.
Some have even suggested that Pope Francis' allegiance to the Catholic Church is so shaky that he has an Islamic agenda -- an accusation similar to one directed at Obama.
Could Francis be the final Pope before Christ's return? Could he be the Antichrist? Is he the False Prophet?
Jenifer LeClaire, Charisma magazine senior editor
In her Charisma article about the Pope, LeClaire dismissed rumors that Francis said the Bible and the Quran are the same.
Then she added:
"Meanwhile, Francis has warmed up to Islam like no other Pope before him. In a historic first, Francis opened the door to Muslim prayers and Quran readings at the Vatican last year. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres joined the pontiff in the Vatican gardens for a prayer meeting."
Still, the Pope and the President are different in at least one crucial way, says Earle Scarlett, a retired U.S. diplomat who writes about religion.
While arguing that Obama and Francis share a yearning for economic justice, Scarlett says Francis is freer than Obama to pursue his vision because the same checks and balances that stymie the power of the presidency don't exist in the Vatican.
"In the American government, a guy can get up and say you're a liar to the president," Scarlett says. "Can you imagine a bishop or cardinal saying that to the Pope in a meeting? I never heard of a Pope being dethroned. But I've heard of presidents being impeached."
As the Pope visits the United States, it's doubtful anyone will stand up and call him a socialist or the Antichrist.
But among Pope dissenters, the chatter will continue.
PUTIN SENDS TANKS TO SYRIA: “LARGEST DEPLOYMENT OF OUTSIDE RUSSIAN FORCES SINCE USSR COLLAPSE”
Arrival of Russian tanks arguably goes beyond the purely ‘defensive’ equipment
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons.
by MAC SLAVO
SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
Now that Syria is back in the news with the refugee crisis, Russia appears poised to raise another round of alarm bells about the prospect of wider war.
The pending deal with Iran could be broken at any time by all sides, including a preemptive nuclear strike by its enemies. The tensions over Syria – triangulated between Assad’s forces, ISIS terrorists and Western-backed “rebels” – are equally likely to boil over, as the attempts to oust Assad have been stymied.
The attempts to condemn Assad in international public opinion have largely failed, as the accusations of a chemical weapons attack did not stick or even carry credible evidence. Likewise, Russia has stuck up for the Syrian regime, and vowed to oppose a Western agenda to overrun it without proper justification.
However, the announcement of tank shipments from Russia takes it to a whole new level.
Russia’s military build-up in Syria has grown to include the shipment of a half-dozen highly sophisticated battle tanks — and more troops — a defense official told Fox News, in what the source called the “first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria.”
The Pentagon has now tracked a total of 15 Russian Antonov-124 Condor flights into Syria, reflecting a steady stream of military cargo into Syria. According to the latest intelligence, this also includes the arrival of two more Russian cargo ships, containing the tanks.
The cargo is for Russian soldiers, not Syrian government forces, but is seen as a build-up to aid Bashar Assad’s embattled regime.
The defense official, briefed on the latest satellite photos of the Syrian coastline, said: “This is the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday that the activities “suggest the establishment of a forward air operating base.”
The arrival of Russian tanks arguably goes beyond the purely ‘defensive’ equipment that Putin has delivered in the past, giving clear reasons to believe that hostilities have deepened to the point of a wider war and an all out conflict.
For those on all sides of the conflict looking for an excuse to bring in outside troops – from the U.S., NATO, Russia or other armies located in the region, it would seem that the pretext has arrived.
With these new factors trigger a larger and renewed conflict? And would toppling Assad now be only the beginning of wars to come?
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to pass… and that World War III remains only the dismal fantasy of observers and critics.
Imams will have to register and face security vetting under Home Office plans
Imams, priests, rabbis and other religious figures will have to enrol in a 'national register of faith leaders' and undergo vetting
File photo: Religious figures such as rabbis, priests and Imams will have to enroll in a “national register of faith leaders”Photo: Rex
By Andrew Gilligan
10:00PM BST 12 Sep 2015
Imams, priests, rabbis and other religious figures will have to enrol in a “national register of faith leaders” and be subject to government-specified training and security checks in the Home Office’s latest action on extremism.
The highly controversial proposal appears in a leaked draft of the Government’s new counter-extremism strategy, seen by The Telegraph, which goes substantially further than previous versions of the document.
The strategy, due to be published this autumn, says that Whitehall will “require all faiths to maintain a national register of faith leaders” and the Government will “set out the minimum level of training and checks” faith leaders must have to join the new register.
Registration will be compulsory for all faith leaders who wish to work with the public sector, including universities, the document says. In practice, most faith leaders have some dealings with the public sector and the requirement will cover the great majority.
The move marks a significant deepening of the state’s involvement in religion and is likely to be resisted by many religious representatives.
Maulana Shah Raza, an imam who is a founding member of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (Minab), a self-regulatory body designed to promote best practice, warned the Government “not to meddle in religious affairs or to expand the state’s involvement in deciding on religious and theological issues”.
He said: “The Government needs to concentrate on ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect the public and treating all faith communities equally.”
Minab was launched with ministerial support under the last Labour government, but relations with Whitehall have cooled after the group refused to sever ties with extremist mosques and imams.
The new crackdown has emerged the week after the Government announced that it had killed two British Isil fighters in a drone strike.
It is believed Reyaad Khan, 21, from Cardiff, the main target of the drone attack, was radicalised at the Welsh city’s al-Manar mosque, which has hosted a series of extremist preachers, including Muhammad Mustafa al-Muqri, an al-Qaeda ally and former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Until 2013 the mosque’s in-house preacher, Ali Hammuda, who believes that music is a “sickness,” was allowed into Cathays High School, one of the schools attended by Khan, to run lunchtime sessions with students, teaching among other things that music and “free-mixing” between men and women were “not permitted in Islam”.
Another extremist preacher closely linked with a terrorist, Usman Ali, who taught one of the men who killed soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, was appointed chaplain at the area’s local hospital and was also on the management committee of a community centre. He was only sacked from his NHS role after an undercover reporter filmed him inviting a guest speaker who praised the Taliban.
A spokesman for the Catholic Church said it had not been consulted on the proposals. Other senior Catholic sources said any plan for state supervision of priests would be “firmly resisted”.
Nearly 1/3 of Americans would back military coup against government – poll
Published time: 12 Sep, 2015 01:47
Edited time: 12 Sep, 2015 04:30
Almost a third of Americans can imagine themselves supporting a coup against the US government, according to a new survey. Slightly less than 50 percent would “hypothetically” back a military takeover if the government violated the Constitution.
The results come from a recent online survey conducted by UK-based YouGov, which polled 1,000 people from September 2-3.
When asked if there was a situation in which respondents saw themselves supporting a military coup against the elected government, 29 percent answered “yes,” while 41 percent said “no.” Another 30 percent weren’t sure.
71 percent of respondents believe that members of Congress only want what’s best for themselves.
The poll showed that Republicans (43 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (20 percent) to support a coup in the US. Among Independents, the majority (38 percent) said that they could not imagine supporting a coup while 29 percent agreed that they could.
The results were reversed when the participants were presented with a specific situation in which the government violated the Constitution. In such a case, 43 percent said that they would “hypothetically support” a military takeover, and 29 percent said they wouldn’t.
YouGov also looked into people’s attitudes towards politicians and federal civil servants, as well as military and police officers.
Results showed 70 percent of the participants believe that military officers generally “want what is the best for the country,” and more than 50 percent believe that police officers have the best interests of the country in mind.
On the other hand, US Congressmen are widely viewed as having selfish interests, as 71 percent said they only do “what is the best for themselves.” Government workers and local politicians didn’t fare much better, with 37 of respondents saying the same about the former, and 59 percent about the latter.
The YouGov poll comes less than two weeks after a West Point professor, William C. Bradford, resigned following an uproar over a number of his publications, one of which was about a potential military coup against the president.
New Yorkers Without “Enhanced” ID Could Face Travel Restrictions From Homeland Security
September 10, 2015 | By Guest Post
By: John Galt, Activist Post
It has been speculated by those who have been researching the ongoing encroachment of the national security state that it would be fully implemented through a range of restrictions that would make it all but impossible to engage with modern society if one is “non-compliant.”
Enter the “enhanced” driver’s license.
First off, it’s worth noting that having a driver’s license at all is a restriction on one’s liberty. Nevertheless, for those who have given in to that bit of soft tyranny, it now appears that the standard license is not going to be sufficient to travel as you wish.
New Yorkers looking to board a domestic flight or take a cruise next year could find themselves grounded unless they have driver’s licenses containing additional security data soon to be required by the federal government.
That’s because the state has failed to comply with the minimum standards of the federal Real ID system, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…
The enhancements include essentially turning the driver’s license into a passport even for domestic travel and access to many domestic locations. Naturally, it also is replete with the latest tracking tech.
It contains an American flag image and has the word “Enhanced” on the front.
Contains a machine-readable zone on the back.
It also has a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, a requirement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that can help expedite traffic and reduce the environmental effects of traffic at border crossings. Border equipment can recognize an RFID tag from as far as 30 feet away.
Proof of U.S. citizenship.
Social Security number through employment and tax records.
State residency also must be proved from a list of specific records, which include bank statements and school report cards.
When originally announced to New Yorkers in 2009 it was intended to “be used instead of a passport to return to the US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean.” Now, however, it appears to have expanded to “go on a cruise or to enter most federal buildings.”
The insult added to injury is that it is going to cost significantly more than the standard licensing fees, which has thus far slowed any talk of mandatory adoption by the state of New York. And as an added bonus applicants must show up in person. Emphasis added:
New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles has resisted making everyone get them, because of the additional administrative costs to the state and the 50 percent increase in the license fee for drivers (an enhanced license costs $30 more than a standard license), DMV spokesman Joseph Morrissey said. It also wants to avoid forcing all applicants to make the required in-person applications to obtain the licenses, he said.
This announcement is troubling on more levels than just the enhanced tracking of one’s movements and potential restrictions on one’s innate right to travel freely. It all stems from the federal Real ID Act that was passed in 2005 in the ongoing opportunistic wake of September 11th. The federal guidelines have been adopted by most states, but a few holdouts like New York feel that they are compliant with the federal regulations simply by offering the enhanced IDs as an option to their residents. So far 800,000 New Yorkers have an enhanced ID, but this falls far short of the nearly 12 million active licenses, highlighting just how excited people seem to be about giving up more rights … and paying to do it.
In the end, it might take quite a while for individual state bureaucracies and constitutions to sort this all out. The federal government would like to see full adoption by 2016, but one blogger in Arizona highlights that a law prohibits her state from complying with federal mandates. This appears to be one significant hurdle among many in the attempt at the full usurpation of states rights by the federal government, in addition to the egregious imposition of federal rule in what is a Constitutional Republic comprised of independent and autonomous states filled with supposedly free citizens.
One must wonder, then, what other restrictions will be imposed in the name of national security if this is not fully resisted while still in its early stages?
What is happening with Real ID in your state? Please leave your comments below.
Schengen no more? The EU as we know it is on the brink
Bryan MacDonald is a journalist. He began his career in journalism aged 15 in his home town of Carlow, Ireland, with the Nationalist & Leinster Times, while still a schoolboy. Later he studied journalism in Dublin and worked for the Weekender in Navan before joining the Irish Independent. Following a period in London, he joined Ireland On Sunday, later re-named the Irish Mail on Sunday. He was theater critic of the Daily Mail for a period and also worked in news, features and was a regular op-ed writer. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.
Published time: 14 Sep, 2015 16:07
Edited time: 15 Sep, 2015 14:57
The current refugee crisis, caused by western foreign policy, could have the unintended consequence of destroying the entire EU project.
In the 19th century, it was possible to travel overland from Paris to St Petersburg without passing a manned border or needing a visa. As travel became cheaper and faster, governments slowly began to erect impediments to free movement. After the First World War, governments began to require passports and entry permits.
Since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, birthing the European Economic Community (later called the European Union), European leaders have collectively promoted the removal of barriers – whether related to the circulation of trade or people. For almost 60 years, the momentum has only swung one way – ever closer union and ever more liberal migration laws.
This weekend, it all changed. Since 1995, when the Schengen zone was created, the open travel agreement has only been paused in exceptional, localized circumstances. Malta once introduced temporary checks for a Papal visit and Estonia to facilitate security for Barack Obama’s brief stop. France and Denmark previously kicked up a stink about asylum seekers abusing the system, but didn’t close it down.
Now, Germany has reinstated border controls with Austria. The Czech Republic is also boosting checks on its frontier and reports on Monday morning suggest that Poland may be next in line.
As the EU’s biggest country, located at the group’s geographical center, Germany is the fulcrum of the Schengen system. It borders nine members. Without Germany’s involvement, the Schengen zone is staring over the precipice of collapse. Like a gigantic set of dominoes, a new reality is hurtling across the continent. The question now is where will it all end?
While the states involved will claim that the controls are temporary, the damage to the principle of free movement is permanent. The entire foundation, purpose and fabric of the EU have been undermined.
Eurocrats have always been determined to ape the US. A sizeable bloc in Brussels sees the EU as the only credible global rival to the superpower and has long sought to redesign Europe in Washington’s image. The Euro currency and the Schengen zone were the two main tools. A single currency and unrestricted travel were intended to dilute national identity and clear a path to an eventual Federal EU.
This hasn’t worked. It was never going succeed either. The most obvious impediment was language difficulties. As economic winds vary, Americans can relatively easily move around their vast country. Every state speaks the same language and shares a similar outlook. In Europe, obviously, this is not the case. You can’t expect a 50-year-old Portuguese person to suddenly up sticks to Finland and learn a complicated tongue for the sake of a cleaning job. Apart from linguistic hurdles, religious differences and past conflicts haunt the continent.
An East-West divide
Then there are attitudes. Despite current fiscal problems, Western Europe remains the most influential place on the planet. The global elite still hop from London and Paris to the Cote d’Azur and the Amalfi coast. Berlin, Dublin and Barcelona exude “cool” and Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Madrid remain key hubs. Meanwhile, east of Vienna, with the exception of Russia, the last 25 years have only delivered stagnation.
To make things worse, some countries, like Lithuania and Latvia, have also endured staggering population falls, rendering their futures bleak. The mass exodus of youth has also served to further entrench conservatism, and in some cases, outright racism. For example, in Estonia, where a former foreign minister claimed last week that “the white race is in danger in Europe." Concurrently, Western Europe continues to liberalize at a breakneck pace.
"The white race is in danger in Europe." says Estonia's former foreign minister.
The difference in values between opposite sides of the EU is astounding. At the same time that Germany has led a clamor to accommodate refugees the east has remained hostile to outsiders. The head of the Latvian Lutheran Church has insisted his nation take only Christian refugees. At the same time, Riga’s opposition party, the National Alliance, claims that Latvia should be exempt from taking any at all. When Latvia left the USSR, a quarter of a century ago, its population was 2.7 million. Mass emigration since has reduced that figure to 1.9 million. As a consequence, you’d have thought they’d be delighted to accept an influx of new residents.
Meanwhile, Poland’s Andrzej Duda, has complained about “dictates” from Brussels to accept asylum seekers. Slovakia’s Robert Fico insists that Bratislava will accept only Christian refugees as it would be “false solidarity” to expect Muslims to settle in a country without a single mosque. So much for ‘European values.” In fact, despite relentless propaganda from US and EU NGOs suggesting otherwise, little has changed in Eastern Europe since most countries joined the EU in 2004. Endemic corruption remains steadfast in these states, press freedom hardly exists and revanchist nationalism is strengthening.
Austria’s chancellor, Werner Faymann, is so disgusted at eastern intolerance that he’s set to propose sanctions on ex-communist states. This might include axing some EU structural funds from which “eastern European states profit most of all,” he said. Meanwhile, at the other end of the financial scale, David Cameron has made it clear that the UK will not participate in a quota-driven plan to share the refugee burden. This is despite the fact that Britain is seen as NATO’s most enthusiastic European member.
Free movement isn't working
In reality, Latvia’s posturing doesn’t much matter. Nor does that of the likes of Hungary, Estonia or Bulgaria. Just as their own citizens relocate in large numbers to the likes of Germany, Ireland, Britain and the Netherlands, newly arrived refugees and migrants have the same desire. Sure, a few thousand Syrians and Afghans might be happy to stay in Vilnius or Bucharest for a while, but, ultimately, it is places such as Berlin and London they dream of.
Germany knows this, too. That’s why Angela Merkel’s administration closed the border. Ultimately, the Berlin government, the dominant power in Europe, had no choice but to sacrifice the European principles it normally espouses to protect its own country. We shouldn’t blame the Germans for this.
Aside from language and a shared culture, the reason free movement in the US works is because incomes are not wildly divergent across the nation. The wealthiest state, Connecticut, posted a 2013 per capita annual income of $37,892. At the other end of the scale, Mississippi registered $20,618. The national average was $28,155.
If we compare those figures with the EU’s, the gap is astonishing. Luxembourg’s median wage is $51,926. By contrast, Latvia’s is a meager $5,010. You don’t need to be a genius to decipher where migrants want to go.
As a result, we have the horrible spectacle of thousands of people literally walking along highways across southern and eastern Europe – often in searing heat – to reach the prosperous north. One always assumed that their urgency was linked to fears that the welcome might diminish. After Germany’s sudden border closure, that theory has been validated. Germany, for all its fiscal might, just can’t process the sheer weight of numbers. As Jean-Claude Juncker says: “There is not enough union in this union.” The continent’s wealth gap is just too pronounced.
The migrant issue also serves to further harden UK attitudes against open frontiers and Brussels itself. The same effect is noticeable in France and Sweden. Thus, it’s not just the Schengen area that’s in danger, it might be the entire EU dream. US support for ISIS-linked “rebels” against the Syrian government could eventually have the unintended consequence of destroying the European project. Given that the EU is a key-pillar of Atlanticism and US hegemony that would be the most extraordinary chain reaction imaginable.
Hungary faces 'rebellion' by migrants, says Viktor Orban
The Hungarian prime minister vows to enforce new laws allowing the arrest of anyone entering the country illegally from next Tuesday
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister has said that Hungary faced a “rebellion” at the hands of new arrivals who have “failed to cooperate” and “seized” the country's railway stations Photo: Rex
By Daniel Nolan, Roszke and David Blair
6:05PM BST 11 Sep 2015
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has denounced the behaviour of migrants and promised to enforce the country’s tough new immigration laws, allowing the arrest of anyone found crossing the border illegally from next Tuesday.
He said Hungary faced a “rebellion” at the hands of new arrivals who have “failed to cooperate” and “seized” the country's railway stations.
The governments of Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic have all joined Hungary in rejecting the European Commission’s plan for 23 member states in the Schengen area to accept quotas of refugees.
The tough stance of these four countries illustrates the divide between Germany, which has declared its willingness to accept as many as 500,000 migrants every year, and other nations which want to close their borders and hold back the tide.
Mr Orban rejected criticism of his government’s approach and warned of the risk of violent disorder. “Considering that we are facing a rebellion by illegal migrants, police have done their job in a remarkable way, without using force," he said.
Of the migrants, he said: "They have seized railway stations, refused to give fingerprints, failed to cooperate, and are unwilling to go to places where they would get food, water, accommodation and medical care.
“They have rebelled against Hungarian legal order.”
The prime minister said that new immigration laws, which take effect from September 15, would curb the flow of people crossing the frontier from Serbia. "From the 15th, Hungarian authorities cannot be forgiving of illegal border-crossing," said Mr Orban.
The government is also building a barbed wire fence along Hungary’s 100-mile frontier with Serbia.
Meanwhile video footage has emerged showing a group of migrants being thrown bags of food at a Hungarian camp in the border town of Röszke, as Human Rights Watch alleged that people were being held like "cattle in pens".
The video, shot by Michaela Spritzendorfer, an Austrian who was delivering aid to the camp, shows people jostling and shouting as they try to catch the food.
"These people have been on a terrible tour for three months," said Ms Spritzendorfer. “They've gone through terrible things and we, as Europe, we keep them there in camps like animals.”
Ms Spritzendorfer said: “It’s really a responsibility of European politicians to open the borders now."
The European Commission wants members of the Schengen area to adopt a quota system that would spread the burden of new arrivals. But this proposal has run into the united opposition of the "Visegrad" group four EU nations.
"We're convinced that, as countries, we should keep control over the number of those we are able to accept and then offer them support," said Lubomir Zaoralek, the Czech foreign minister, after a meeting with his counterparts from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.
Refugees are seen at a reception centre for migrants in Roszke, 180 kms southeast from Budapest, Hungary Photo: EPA
Hungary’s government has opened a new camp at Röszke, which will hold newly arrived migrants for a maximum of 36 hours.
Set between the border fence and a motorway, the facility is surrounded by fences topped with razor wire. Inside are tents for around 1,000 people.
Four buses laden with migrants arrived at the camp on Friday. Nearby, people smugglers were offering lifts to Budapest for 100 euros (£65). The coaches were kept waiting outside the camp for over three hours.
"We don't know what the problem is, and we don't know when we can let them in," said a police officer who was manning the entry gate.
"There is no logic to what is going on," Tamás Lederer, a Migration Aid volunteer, said at the scene.
“We arrived in Hungary two hours ago,” said a 37-year old Syrian who had travelled from Damascus with his pregnant wife. “When we crossed the border, our group went with the police because we have children and we have been travelling for 10 days.
"Our ambition is to not get fingerprinted in Hungary. We want to go to Sweden, but if we have to give fingerprints we will go to Germany.”
The man added: “Syrians are no worse than Europeans, we were just unlucky with governments: we are coming here to work.”
So far this year, 432,761 people have entered Europe by crossing the Mediterranean, according to the International Organisation for Migration. That total amounts to more than twice the number of arrivals recorded in 2014.
More than 170,000 people have crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary in the last nine months. Most have tried to avoid being registered in Hungary, seeking instead to reach Austria or Germany.
Refugees head to Croatia to avoid Hungary
Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:41AM
Refugees have started heading from Serbia to Croatia instead of Hungary, which has rushed to set up a razor-wire fence to stop their flow onto its soil.
A first busload of refugees arrived near Serbia's border with Croatia on Wednesday.
The group, which mostly consisted of Syrians or Afghans, came off at the Serbian border town of Sid after an overnight journey from the country’s border with Macedonia at the southernmost Serbian town of Presevo.
More than 200,000 refugees have entered Hungary so far this year, mostly heading for Austria before setting off for Germany.
The move by Budapest to stem their progress has attracted international criticism.
"Meeting those fleeing conflict and persecution with razor wire, troops and draconian new laws, Hungary is showing the ugly face of Europe's shambolic response to the growing refugee crisis," said London-based Human rights group Amnesty International.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced plans for a similar barrier on its frontier with Romania. Romania criticised the planned fence as "out of step with the spirit of Europe."
Budapest also made its first arrests under tough new laws punishing "illegal border-crossing" or damaging the border fence with prison terms of up to three years.
21st Cenury Wire
Reuters: Russian Boots on Ground in Syria Seeking to Destroy Western Created ISIS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 BY STUART HOOPER
21st Century Wire says…
Will this start solving the problem?
In an exclusive report, Reuters has detailed the following development in the ongoing Syrian crisis:
“Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation there said on Wednesday.
The sources, speaking to Reuters on condition they not be identified, gave the most forthright account yet from the region of what the United States fears is a deepening Russian military role in Syria’s civil war, though one of the Lebanese sources said the number of Russians involved so far was small.
U.S. officials said Russia sent two tank landing ships and additional cargo aircraft to Syria in the past day or so and deployed a small number of naval infantry forces.
The U.S. officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent of Russia’s military moves in Syria was unclear. One suggested the focus may be on preparing an airfield near the port city of Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility that Russia may want to use the airfield for air combat missions.”
Ready to rock. (Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin)
This incredible news is the culmination of a string of crises that have taken place as a result of the Syrian conflict. The central problems, of course, being the obviously Western created Migrant Crisisand ISIS terrorist forces.
Russia’s President Putin has been the only world leader to openly name and shame the West for being directly responsible for the crisis and growth of ISIS, with others in the Russian government branding Western interference in the Middle East as ‘social engineering‘.
The military forces deployed to work with Assad in his fight against ISIS will most likely be special forces units with tight objectives, which is in massive contrast to the regular occurrence of Western mission creep.
This development confirms analysis calling out further Western interference as ‘incalculable folly‘, as it would now lead to a potential confrontation with Russia – a situation that would become truly earth shattering.
The difference between this intervention and Western meddling, is that this is an entirely legal and sanctioned act of cooperation between two internationally recognised nation states. Anyone saying anything different should have their motives questioned.
Red and buried: Labour rocked as shock poll says party will lose next TWO elections, seven key figures quit and MPs plot to oust Corbyn after Left-winger's sensational victory
Corbyn triggered political earthquake by winning race to succeed Miliband
Teetotaller celebrated in the pub by singing socialist anthem The Red Flag
Colleagues admit they want him sacked before the next General Election
Rebellion started seconds after he was unveiled as new Labour leader
By SIMON WALTERS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 16:06 EST, 12 September 2015 | UPDATED: 04:57 EST, 13 September 2015
Labour MPs started plotting to oust Jeremy Corbyn immediately after his sensational victory yesterday.
Within hours of the Left-winger being elected party leader, moderate colleagues openly admitted they were ready to sack him before the next General Election. Corbyn triggered a political earthquake by winning the race to succeed Ed Miliband by a massive margin.
The teetotaller celebrated in the pub by singing socialist anthem The Red Flag with his Leftwing supporters. But he faced a mutiny as Shadow Cabinet Ministers, horrified at the party’s lurch to the left, resigned en masse.
The rebellion started seconds after he was unveiled as new Labour leader at 11.42am. Labour Health spokesman Jamie Reed resigned via Twitter at 11.43am.
Another tweet posted by Andy Burnham’s shocked team at the same time said ‘f’ – but it was quickly deleted.
Tony Blair was said to be ‘in shock’ at Corbyn’s triumph and ‘appalled’ by his ‘failure to reach out to all voters’ in his acceptance speech.
Labour grandees have queued up to warn the party was doomed under Corbyn. Writing in today’s Mail
He claims Left wing ‘thugs’ in Corbyn’s camp could try to launch a Militant Tendency-style purge of moderate Labour MPs. Corbyn is not a thug, Blunkett writes, but Labour must ‘beware the danger of an iron fist in a velvet glove’.
And he adds that the triumph of Corbyn and his new deputy, union fixer Tom Watson, is ‘an emotional spasm’ and a victory for ‘zealots’.
Blunkett’s views were echoed by close allies of Peter Mandelson who accused Corbyn of staging a Labour ‘coup’. Another former Labour Cabinet heavyweight, Charles Clarke, dismissed Corbyn as ‘an absurd vessel for the hopes of the disaffected’ who had made ‘deeply cynical promises he knows he will never deliver’. Clarke claimed the Labour rot started when Gordon Brown was elected leader.
After singing The Red Flag in celebration, the new leader joined a rally in Trafalgar Square in support of more UK help for refugees fleeing war-torn Syria
Two moderate Labour MPs, John Mann and Simon Danczuk, have also declared Corbyn would be thrown out as leader if he was a flop.
In today’s Mail on Sunday, Bassetlaw MP Mann says that if Corbyn boosts ratings fast he would earn the right to lead the party into the next General Election. If not, he would be fired. ‘Labour MPs – and party members – cannot sit on our hands if we have elected the wrong leader,’ Mann writes.
He is backed by Rochdale MP Danczuk who writes in this newspaper that Corbyn is ‘on probation’ as Labour could not be saddled with a ‘laughing stock’ leader.
‘There is no escaping the fact that if it does not look as though he is going to lead Labour to victory in 2020, there will be a vacancy, we will have to find someone who can,’ Danczuk says.
A jubilant Corbyn wasted no time showing his Labour colours after his thumping victory over rivals Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.
He knocked them all out in the first round of the contest by polling a remarkable 59.5 per cent of the vote, more than three times the number of votes for second placed Burnham. Cooper, backed by Gordon Brown, came third with Blairite Kendall last with a humiliating 4.5 per cent, a stark reflection of how the party has abandoned its Blair-Brown heritage.
Corbyn flaunted his Left-wing credentials in his acceptance speech as leader. He said Labour was ‘organically linked to the unions’ and pledged to fight Conservative laws to ‘shackle’ them.
He added that David Cameron had ‘used the 2008 economic crisis to impose a terrible burden on the poor… with grotesque levels of inequality.’ But Corbyn was forced to concede he had little support from MPs – saying he was nominated ‘with reluctance’ by some MPs.
After singing The Red Flag in celebration, the new leader joined a rally in Trafalgar Square in support of more UK help for refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.
But in a devastating counter-attack on the new leader and his team, Blunkett says: ‘Their determination not to compromise will bring them down. Disillusionment will follow as it becomes clear they are in a parallel universe to the electorate.’
Blunkett says he could forgive people under 40 who did not witness the damage caused to Labour by ‘political thuggery’ in the 1980s when Militant Tendency, led by rabble-rousing Derek Hatton in Merseyside, tried to oust moderate Labour MPs.
But ‘the same cannot be said for the zealots who have re-emerged to capture the Labour Party and take it back to a bygone era’.
Corbyn was not a ‘thug’ but there were ‘thugs’ in his camp and he must stop them acting like Militant Tendency infiltrators.
‘The reassurances need to include: No deselection threats to Labour MPs,’ Blunkett writes. Meanwhile, Liz Kendal’s campaign manager, fellow Blairite MP John Woodcock said Corbyn’s rise was partly the result of endless Blair-Brown feuding.
‘All of us who got caught up in the Blair-Brown rivalry must take our share of responsibility for Corbyn’s victory,’ said Woodcock.
‘We became obsessed with the divisions between us and took our eyes off the big picture. It is not surprising that some looked for a different brand of politics.’
Boris Johnson led the Tory onslaught against Corbyn claiming Labour was ‘deranged’ to make him leader.
North Carolina mother awakens from coma after hearing newborn baby’s cries
POSTED 11:22 AM, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015, BY JOE BORLIK
CONCORD, N.C. — A North Carolina mother who went into a coma after childbirth woke up after hearing her baby cry.
People Magazine reported that 23-year-old Concord mother Shelly Cawley was not waking up after having an emergency C-section.
A blood clot broke loose during the surgery and she went into a coma, according to reports.
Doctors at the hospital told WCNC that they didn’t think she would make it. They said they were close to losing her.
But after the new mother was in a coma for a week, the nursing staff came up with an idea.
“We knew skin to skin contact is very beneficial to an infant, so we thought why not try it for a mom,” said Staff Nurse Ashley Manus at CMC North East. “Because the baby already thriving she was doing great.”
Cawley’s husband put the baby on the mother. The baby eventually started crying and the mother woke up.
“I’m 100% believer in miracles,” Cawley said. “I think it’s pretty amazing. It just amazes me that a baby so little and have such a big impact.”
next week...keep on believing.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 123:3)